Sometimes substitute teachers encounter frustrations with both schools and students. Let's see what can be done about it.
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Hey, Greg Collins,Substitute Teachers Lounge, you know, you got him right now you can think of schools that have frustrated you. And you can definitely think of students that have frustrated you. Let's see if I can't talk you into giving them a second chance.All right, first of all off topic, but I have to say it. I told everyone last week that I had hoped to get to Greece, but I didn't think I was going to be able to but I did. I got to see one of the high schools productions of Greece this past week. And let me tell you, I want to say this, because I know a lot of the people that were in it, listen to this. You guys did a great job. I know you some of you DOMA. You can see me laughing and tapping my feet along to the music, but it was really excellent. I shouldn't say it this way. It almost sounds bad. But I was shocked at how good you guys are. So it really touches my heart. Because I've taught some of you students to sixth grade. You all did.Excellent. So hats off to you.I've actually been for that to be listening. I've been trying to go around the school and getting autographs of some of the players that are were in it in my program that came along with the show. So hats off to you guys, you did a great job.For you, teachers, substitute teachers, I know what we've got,you know, three weeks around three weeks in, some of that is testing. So we don't have a whole lot more substitute teaching to do. And to be honest, the topic today, I guess got put in my mind, because of a cruise we're planning. Me and my family and some church members that I go with are planning a trip to Alaska that leaves in a month and there has been so many changes and frustrations with it, that it's kind of burst the bubble a little bit we've had ports change to something that was much less than what we had before. I guess it is what it is as bad as I hate that phrase. I think that phrase is overused,but it is what it is. And we'll go from here. But I want to tell you as some stories, first of all about schools that have frustrated me, and a little bit about why I gave them a second chance I could have said I've got seven more schools I can go to I don't need those guys. I probably just run into trouble students there. You know, you start rationalizing in your head what you're going to do, but I'm going to tell you what I did the approach I took and what happened to me because some of it was like a three to four year process. Maybe not until it was fixed, but until it was perfected. So let's talk about the schools first. And then we'll talk about frustrating students second, and why should we give them a second chance as well. So let's do it. Let's go back to where I was four years ago where some of you are today.Maybe they just started substitute teaching. I was on my laptop refreshing my at that time Aesop screen, it's now frontline. Just hoping you know refreshing it and maybe every 15minutes the night before looking for a sub job. I remember this one particular morning, there was a high school in the air,there's a high school in their area that I was already subbing for, but there was another one that I kind of wanted to get to know some of those students,those teachers as well. So I wanted to get into there. So one night, I couldn't find anything the next morning now my routine is it's like when I substitute teach my mental clock doesn't let me sleep past 5am So I get up I can without rushing get cleaned up, get ready for the day. I actually read I don't read a newspaper per se but I read from a newspaper site electronically every morning. It just kind of gets my mindset helps me relax, get a relaxing cup of coffee, and maybe getting to the school a half an hour early. That's my routine. That's who I am. You don't have to be that person, but that's who I am. Okay, so this particular time no jobs came up the night before no jobs came up between5am and I guess it was about 615Finally something popped up at this school. I was glad I had gotten ahead and showered up and gotten dressed just in case of something popped up. And sure enough, it did. It was the high school that I had wanted to Sebat. So going to be a perfect day, right? It was about, it's actually one of those locations that's furthest away from me, it won't bore you all that are in big cities, you'll laugh at this. If you're in a small town,you'll probably think this was too far for you. But it was about a 25 minute drive to get to this location. So I head off.And about pet that was to make it more frustrating. It was after an exit ramp that I got to know from the school that said it popped up, I had all my notifications turned on, it popped up and said, Your job has been canceled. Now I was frustrated. I just kind of wrote it off. Well, either the teacher decided they could come in, or I started rationalizing, they probably got a group of teachers that they choose from first and I picked it up so quickly, they didn't get a chance to do that.The person that there's one person at this school that for the most part organizers, the substitute teachers, maybe it was just meant to be so turned around, had to go to the next exit turned around and came back. That's the only time in five years that I've been on my way to a sub job when it got canceled out from underneath.That can be frustrating, right?And I bet that has happened to you too. So life went on. I mean, you could have various different reactions, you could say, I'm not gonna go back to that school. I'm not going to put up with that. In my case, I gave him a second chance. Here's what happened with the second chance. Okay. There is a lady that is a friend of mine,because, you know, I've met the family through church and other things. So she came up to me one time and said, Greg, could you serve for my class? And it just so happened? She teaches at this school, the school that had canceled me, it was probably it's probably been weeks after that happened. I said, Sure.I've been wanting to get in there. She said, now, I'm only going to be gone for a half a day. Is that okay? Do you mind taking a half a day? And I said,Sure, I'll take a half a day, I would tend to want to do four days most of the time unless it was a friend that asked, so I took it. Well, we got it loaded.She loaded it quickly. I accepted it. And lo and behold,it was probably about four days off the day before. In fact, I think that sub job was going to be on a Monday on Sunday, I got a notice that the job had been canceled. And I'm thinking well,I guess that teacher has changed her mind. And I waited for a while and I said, Well, you know, just in case, there's some kind of glitch. I'm going to text that teacher and say, I hope everything's okay. I see that you canceled the job. And she text back. She said, You know what? I thought maybe you had decided not to take it. I didn't cancel the job. Well, it turns out the same person that didn't charge the subs, they canceled the job. Because they wanted one of their substitutes that had been doing it for a long time to have that job.Well, this teacher contacted that person. And she said, All right, since you have vouched for the person must be a good sub. It just so happens there's there's now a full time opening our contact him and see if he would be willing to do that. So she did. She'd contacted me. It was a full time day. I thought that was great. I later got to sub for the other teacher to on a different day. But so I got my foot in the door at the school.She met me. She liked my organization. She liked the job.I did I know some of the teachers were telling her that's a great sub. And before I knew it, they were asking me back.Every week there was something going on. I have had three long term roles with that school to this day. It's not only one of the schools that contact me the most it's one of the schools that I enjoy going back to the most So had I crossed them off my list from the beginning. None of that would have happened. I get all kinds of jobs from them now. So I say all that to say this if you choose to get frustrated because you think a school has treated you wrong. It's okay. I didn't And I've gotten more jobs from that school than any other school I've been to. So there's always that possibility on a small scale. Probably the only other way schools perhaps frustrate you gonna say by the way that some of you get frustrated, if you have your planning period take away, they have the right to do that we're subbing there to cover for people. So if they need us to cover for somebody, I'm not sure we have the right to get frustrated by that unless you've got some kind of contract role that say that word right situation, and you have to do it. But that's it for teachers.Let's talk about frustrating students. Here's what I do. And while I'm talking about it, see,if you think that I'm going to eventually say, there are some students that I found so frustrating, I didn't want to go back. If I had to teach their class, see, if you think I ever fell into that category. We'll talk about general things in the classroom, like taking phones away closing tabs that they should not have had open, I'm not talking about, I'll just use the word vulgar. I'm not talking about those kinds of things. I'm talking about tabs, they shouldn't have like games, they shouldn't have open while they're working. I could be very frustrated with them. I could give them second chances. Here's what I do. I will tell them,guys, you got a Google classroom assignment today. And I'm smarter than I look because I can walk around. And even if you've got a tab open in a another window and you think I can't see it, I'm pretty smart about that. If I catch you, then that's when you get in trouble.So I do that. I tell them if it's a school where they're allowed to at least keep their phones in their pocket, but they have it out and they're not supposed to. I've taken phones,I've taken other items from students that are distracting them. Now what I'll do, they pretty much think that when that kind of stuff gets taken away from them, that it's for the rest of the class, or maybe it maybe even the day, but what I do, I'll let half the class go by now. I'll take it back to them and say, Listen, I believe in second chances. But I don't believe in thirds. So you've got an opportunity. Now, here's your phone back. Here's your squishy stress reliever, here's the ball that you were bouncing on the table and aggravating everybody about you've got a chance. Now,if you do it a third time,you're doing it after I told you not to. That's when you'll really get in trouble. And I think they appreciate that most of them smile at me, they think they're in trouble. If they don't know me, well, they think maybe I'm going to say something to the teacher and other some things. Of course, I do have to eventually say something to the teacher. But that gives them a chance to redeem themselves. So I would say, you know, we're talking about mild things right now, I would say if a student does something to frustrate you do the discipline thing, take whatever item it is away from them if you need to, but then give them a second chance, we all need second chances in our life, and students are no different. They will appreciate you for it. I have found that when I do that, and then teach those students again, they're glad I'm there. They know I'm fair. They know they might have done something that they shouldn't have in class. But yet, I am giving them that second chance. Now. On the flip side, and you all have heard this before, there are some instances, I'm one of those that if I warn a student to stop what they're doing, and they stop.That's fine. If they or any other student in class does it one more time right after that.They're the student that gets in trouble. Not the one that did it the first time if there is in fact a difference. In my mind,that is also given them the Second Chance their first chance was the warning. If you do it after that, or especially if you do it right after that, just to get noticed and try to get a giggle out of the classroom.You're the Once in trouble, and depending on what it is, I might I'm not gonna lie to you. But I might leave a note for the teacher that said, this student did a frustrating thing in class, here's what happened, it was mild, maybe it was just stupid sounds that they were making in class with their armpits, with their mouth and their elbow, whatever. Well,after I told them not to this person did it one more time. So handle it, however, you want to throw the paper away if you want, that is their second chance. So I'd say all that today to say this, schools will occasionally do something to frustrate you. Roll with it, get over it, feel free to be frustrated at the time. But that school needs you and wants you back and wants you to substitute for them with students do the discipline thing. But depending on how serious the issue is,give them a second chance, let them know that you want to help them, give them a second chance.Don't give them a third, that just that ends up being a sign of weakness that just is like,doesn't matter how many times I do this, they're going to give it they're going to reverse whatever they did to me in the first place. Give them that second chance, don't give them the third chance. And I think those students will like it, I think they will appreciate you and I don't think they'll give you as much trouble as they did in previous classroom settings.Now, are there students that I refuse to go back to the school?Because I know I might have them in class? The answer is yes. I'm in that situation right now.There's one particular area that I don't take a particular grade at that school, because there's a couple of students there that are fro so frustrating, and so defiant. They're not fighting.They're just defiant to the teachers. And I've got other choices. I feel bad for the teachers that have to face that every day. But I have other choices. I'm gonna go to other schools. I'll go back to those schools eventually. So that happens to me too. I know you get frustrated from time to time, but on the milder situations, at least give those students and those schools a second chance and I'm think you'll feel better about it. It might give you more jobs. It might give you better relationships with the students you're teaching. And who knows maybe all of us will learn from those second chances.